Hi, I'm Shanna Bignell - welcome to Feathertail! I'm based on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in south-east Queensland, Australia, and my business name is inspired by the Australian Feathertail Glider, the smallest gliding possum in the world.
My husband Nathan and I are both passionate about environmental conservation and sustainability, particularly when it comes to our native fauna and the habitats that support it. We're volunteer wildlife carers with Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the Eumundi Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, and usually have a house filled with reptiles and amphibians that we are rehabilitating for release back into the wild.
Shanna Bignell - Photographer
I studied photography as part of my journalism degree in the late 90s. However, it wasn't until 2012 that my husband Nathan gave me a digital SLR camera for my birthday and I accidentally took an action shot of a Blue Banded Bee in our back garden that I suddenly (and unexpectedly) found myself addicted to wildlife photography!
Since then I have taken pictures of our native animals, plants and habitats wherever I go. I love sharing my images and the stories behind them so that others can see how beautiful and valuable our fauna and flora is. I invite everyone to come on the journey with me, and hopefully you'll be as inspired as I am to learn more about our environment and to protect it. I also thoroughly enjoy chatting at my market stalls so if you see me, come and say hello!
As well as 'shooting' wildlife, I'm a natural light portrait photographer and every now and again I have the privilege of capturing images of people at a moment in time they'll treasure forever.
On a personal note, I'm on a daily mission to reduce my environmental impact in as many small ways I can - I hope these will add up to something significant - and my current focus is reducing waste (particularly plastic waste). I'd love to be one of these smug people who can show you their year's worth of waste in a jar, but that's probably not realistic, so I take my own cup to the coffee shop, avoid single-use and over-packaged products, store my food in reusable containers, and recycle as much as I can.
Finalist - 2017 Australasian Bird Fair Photography Competition (Bird Portrait category)
Finalist - 2016 Sunshine Environment Photography Awards
Highly Commended - Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2015 inaugural Landscape and Wildlife Photography Prize
Runner up - 2015 WIRES Australia Day Photo Competition
Nathan Bignell - Photographer & wildlife wrangler
I have been interested in animals, especially reptiles, ever since I was a kid growing up in Brisbane. I used to catch turtles, snakes and lizards from the creeks and bush around my house and keep them as pets, back before that sort of thing was frowned on!
I have been a volunteer wildlife carer since 2006 when I joined WIRES, the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service. I did an introductory animal rescue and care course and cared for a variety of animals short-term including birds and baby possums. I really wanted to do reptiles though, so I did a WIRES venomous snake handling course and joined the reptile rescue team. Since then we have rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of reptiles in our home in Sydney and, more recently, on the Sunshine Coast.
In 2013 I decided to make a career move and left my job in IT to become a licensed fauna spotter/catcher. I now work on mine sites, construction projects and roadworks to find and relocate native animals that would otherwise be injured or killed by machinery. It's hard to see habitat being destroyed and animals displaced, but hopefully my work helps to mitigate the damage and raise awareness of the valuable ecosystems that are destroyed daily in the quest for relentless growth and development. In an ideal world, jobs like mine wouldn't even exist because conservation would be at the forefront of all planning decisions.
I am interested in preserving the biodiversity of life on this planet. I especially want to help the misunderstood animals in our environment that get persecuted beause people don't understand them.